A quick lesson in simplicity

Simplicity is not less. It is the essentials, it is the right amount, it is about balance.

After moving out of our 1200 square foot apartment with a one car garage into a 650 square foot upstairs apartment with no garage. You quickly realize the amount if unnecessary stuff we hold on to. Some of it has sentimental meaning, others financial meaning, and some of it is just stuff. Not keeping sentimental or inspiring, just things we may or may not need. That may or may not have value.

Choosing less is not saying no to sentimental, it is saying yes to those things that truly inspire you, give you “joy” and can be used in your day to day life. I recently found a linen tablecloth and matching linen napkins all hand embroidered by my great grandmother. Instead of putting them back into a box, I decided I want to enjoy them. So, the napkins are in a basket on our table for daily use and one day soon I’ll put the table cloth on our kitchen table.

Choosing simplicity is saying yes when you really can use the thing, and no when it would become another thing to dust, clean, or work around. Have you ever thought about how much easier life would be if we owned exactly what we needed to use and not what we thought we needed? I think I need all kinds of things. But I don’t.

My favorite simplicity item are jars. Seriously. You get them probably once a week at the grocery store they contain jams, salsas, and pasta sauces. And when they are empty and clean they can contain hair ties, cotton swaps, nuts, dried fruit, granola, brushes, and be a vessel for drinking. There is a constant supply of them and yet we buy containers to hold these exact things.

Simplicity is the joy of being happy with all your choices; picking a mug for coffee in the morning, the things that fill your calendar, which shoes you’ll wear, or the things you eat. Simplicity is using what you have in new creative ways, I bought basil a few weeks back for an herb salad we had. Then the next week, we made strawberry kabobs with basil & mozzarella. I ended up using all the other herbs from the herb salad for different things over the next week after that meal, it gave me so much joy to use what I had instead of having to go buy it for a one time use.

I am at the point where I am beginning to think, I may have too many choices in my wardrobe. I like much of my wardrobe but it doesn’t always fill me with happiness when I look in there. I see pieces that were given to me but itch because of their fabrication, and other things I like but the fit is off. It may be time to have those items altered or they need to find new homes. Simplicity is being okay with letting go when things don’t fit your lifestyle or style anymore.

Simplicity is the awareness, the mindfulness, of our impact on the planet and our desire to live holistically with our surroundings. Choosing local, buying local, and increasing our desire for a less is more lifestyle with less harmful things in our daily environment and more goodness. Choosing less gives you more room to be creative, with what you have.

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